The New York Knicks fell to the Brooklyn Nets on Monday evening in a hard-fought battle, and that performance was far more indicative of their quality of play than a recent loss of the Minnesota Timberwolves, arguably the worst team in the NBA. During that contest, the Knicks once again forced the ball to Julius Randle with time winding down, but it was RJ Barrett who took the last shot to win the game, subsequently missing and catching a bit of heat from Timberwolves star Anthony Edwards afterward.
Edwards made sure to leave a comment that got into RJ Barrett’s head, stating that they desperately wanted him to take the final shot, and everything worked out in their favor.
“Gladly RJ caught it and if he made the shot, we would’ve lived with it,” Timberwolves rookie Anthony Edwards said. “Because that’s who we wanted taking the shot. We didn’t want anyone else taking it.”
Clearly, they believe Barrett is incapable of rising to the occasion and hitting big shots, but I would argue he’s well on his way to being a quality NBA player and hasn’t even scratched the surface.
Barrett isn’t one to take things personally, but this one seemed to get to him, utilizing a rare tweet to expressed his confusion in Edward’s comments.
“I thought it was funny,” Barrett said. “You’re right: I don’t normally tweet. I don’t know what it was about this one. I just felt like this one was an OK scenario to laugh at.”
This season, RJ is averaging 17.3 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 3.0 assists on .445 shooting from the field. His three-pointer has taken a massive step forward, hitting on .359% compared to .320% in 2019. At 20 years old, he has taken an extensive developmental leap this year, showing flashes of stardom.
Comparably, Edwards is in his rookie season at 19 years old, averaging 17.6 points and .394 shooting from the field. There is a primary difference between the two, Barrett is an aggressive defender who is rounding out his game in year two while Edwards is focusing on offensive contributions. I believe that RJ has a bright future ahead of him, especially with the Knicks as a hopeful star player.
Clearly, opponents are trying to get into his head, but RJ is more worried about playing basketball at a high level than being concerned with trash talk.